Monthly Archives: January 2018

Daily Mass: Jesus encounters hometown hardships. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus returns home with his disciples, but the people – limited by their thinking – cannot see him by the light of his ministry.  The Lord’s rejection reminds us that we, too, have a community of our own…and we can either build it up or tear it down.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 4th Week of the Year (St. John Bosco)

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Christ is the source of our healing. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus heals two people in the Gospel today, revealing his power as the Son of God.  As his disciples we continue the Lord’s healing work as we draw strength from Christ…the source of our healing.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 4th Week of the Year

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Photo Credit: The Passion of the Christ, 2004.


5th Sunday of the Year: Confronting the reality of human suffering

Study: Reflect upon an experience of suffering.  How did your faith help you face it?

Pray: Are you or someone you know facing pain or loss?  Pray that God gives the grace needed to face it.

Serve: Walking with others on their journey of anguish demands time and attention.  Are you being called now to assist someone in need?

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of the Year

Let’s take a look at these readings:

  • 1st Reading – Job speaks from his anguish and misery.
  • Psalm – “Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.”
  • 2nd Reading – Paul states his need to preach the Gospel.
  • Gospel – Jesus heals the sick and preaches to the people.

On the surface of these readings we see the obvious – there are times when we encounter suffering.  Whether it’s body, mind, heart or soul…most people on more than one occasion are brought low by pain, struggle or loss.

What’s more, there is no “spin” in the Bible.  Instead, we repeatedly see in the Scriptures a raw look at the challenges people face without trying to explain away the hardship.  It’s almost as if the Word of God seeks to remind us that the journey of life often stops in places of anguish.

We might be tempted to ask the Lord why.  We might try to find reasons why a good and almighty God allows it.  Such a reaction is normal and typical.

Here’s the problem.  Many of the hardships of life have no easy answers or simple explanations.  Much of life is a mystery, and many things will not be explained until the day we stand before the Lord when all is revealed.

Suffering by itself serves no purpose, yet we often recognize that there are many times we “suffer” for something greater:

  • The athlete who suffers in practice to perform in competition
  • The student who suffers in study to perform academically
  • The employee who suffers with work to complete a challenging project
  • The friend who suffers for a loved one to bring help and comfort
  • The parent who suffers for a child to show compassion and care

You get the point.  We often embrace suffering because we recognize that there is meaning and purpose in much that is difficult, challenging and hard.

But what about when we don’t understand?  One of the most helpful questions I have ever found in the face of suffering is this:

How does my faith help me face this?

For remember, when our lives are focused on the Lord all things – even suffering – fit into a proper perspective.  Christ’s suffering on the Cross breaks the bonds of sin and death; Christ’s resurrection shows us that there is something far beyond the realm of pain and loss.

As Jesus healed and preached Good News we call upon our faith to help us face the difficulties of life with strength.  Perhaps we will not know why suffering happens, but God will give us the grace to learn how we will face it.

***************
Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

 


4th Sunday of the Year: Power and Authority in human life. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus speaks with power and authority in the Gospel today, revealing that these gifts come from God and require us to use them wisely and well.  May we both receive from the Lord what we need and then share our blessings with others to the best of our ability.

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Finding calm in the storms of life. Catholic Inspiration

Terrified by a violent storm, the disciples call out to Jesus who immediately calms it.  Storms are a part of life, and whether physical, emotional, psychological, relational or spiritual we find in the Lord a peaceful strength to face them with confidence and conviction.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 3rd Week of the Year

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: We are all works in progress. Catholic Inspiration

All living things grow slowly and steadily, following a process as they mature.  The same is true for our faith.  On this feast of Saints Titus and Timothy may we patiently and faithfully keep our eyes fixed on the Lord as we grow in faith, hope and love.

Mass Readings – Sts. Titus & Timothy

***************
Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Is your life Good News? Catholic Inspiration

The Lord commands the disciples to “go into the world and tell the Good News.”  Our faith today is built on the witness of those who have gone before us.  But the command of Jesus applies to us as well…prompting us to consider how we will proclaim the Good News to those around us today.

Mass Readings – The Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: It all starts with a seed. Catholic Inspiration

The parable of the sower teaches us that the Lord works in a slow and steady way to change our lives.  While there are many temptations and distractions that can choke off our faith, we are reminded to foster the Gospel in our hearts and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 3rd Week of the Year (St. Francis de Sales)

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: You are part of the Lord’s family! Catholic Inspiration

The Lord claims us as part of his family in the Gospel of Mark.  God chooses us and invites us to accept the Good News and put it into practice.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 3rd Week of the Year

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


4th Sunday of the Year: Our use of Power and Authority

Study:  Consider a time in life when you used power and authority well.  What helped and guided you?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the wisdom and courage to live your life in accordance with God’s commands.

Serve:  How can you make a difference with your life today?  What is in your reach to do that makes an immediate difference?

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year

In great and small ways, we all exercise power and authority.  Some people make daily decisions that shape the lives of nations; others rule kingdoms no bigger than the back garden.  Yet regardless of size and shape, the fact remains that power and authority are part of human life.

Having these two dynamic attributes, however, are no guarantee that they will be used wisely and well.  History is filled with both good and bad examples where power and authority have been used – for great good and great harm.

Like all gifts, power and authority find their origin in the Lord.  God is the source of all life, and every blessing, every ability, derives its strength from the throne of Heaven.  Both the first reading and the Gospel today acknowledge this truth: Moses proclaims that God will raise up a future prophet for the people; Jesus teaches with authority and casts out demons.  As Christ fulfills the promise of Moses, the Lord extends his power to conquer sin and death that we might have hope in this world as we look to the world to come.

In light of these readings two thoughts emerge for consideration:

  • Do I acknowledge God’s power and authority in my life?
  • Do I use the power and authority I have for God’s glory?

Think about it.  We often know what we should do…the question is, do we do it?!  The Lord’s commands (forgiveness, prayer, service to the poor, justice, etc.) are not nice things to think about in our spare time.  They are dictates from on high that are meant to enliven us and fill us with grace, peace, and joy.  The problem of course is that our own ego can get in the way and redirect our energy away from God.  In these moments, we search our conscience (Remember the Examination of Conscience last week?) and return to the Lord.

And while we are examining our hearts, we have the opportunity to put into practice the power and authority we have in a 1001 ways.  Consider:

  • Family, Friends, Acquaintances, Colleagues, Classmates
  • Strangers, Enemies, Chance Visitors
  • The Environment, The Legal System, Local Government
  • Any place where our lives touch another…

Since all power comes from God and flows through us, it might be helpful to recall that one day we are going to stand before Jesus Christ.  With loving eyes he will look into our souls and ask what we did with the gift of life we were given.  It’s not the mistakes we made that will be hardest to bear, but the opportunities we missed to good with what we had.  Perhaps today we might reflect on the Lord’s commands for our lives, and reconsider how we might put them into practice with the power we possess.

***************

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

***************

Note: This post was first published on January 25, 2015.